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The Handless Maiden Series of work

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

This series of paintings and drawings are based on The Brothers Grimm fairy tale titled "The Handless Maiden".




This fairy tale is about a poor miller who makes a deal with the devil (disguised as an old man) to give him what’s behind his mill in exchange for endless wealth. Unbeknownst to the miller his daughter was behind the mill and he is forced to give her to the devil. The devil forces the miller to cut off his daughters hands. The miller’s maimed daughter goes wandering and eats a pear off of a king’s pear tree next to his palace. King falls head over heels for the maiden and they get married and have a child. He gifts his wife with a pair of silver hands. The King goes off to battle and the devil interferes once more and forges a letter from from the king saying his mother must kill daughter in law and son. His mother sends the young Queen and her son away instead. The young Queen and her son go wandering. An Angel comes along and takes them to a house in the woods. They live there for 7 years until the King finds the them in his travels after he’s returned from war. He does not believe they are his family until the young Queen shows him the pair of silver hands.

“I created this series of work to represent strength despite abuse.”

Below is why I created this series:


Torment


This is a story of abuse and resilience. After having her hands savagely cut off, the handless maiden bravely decides to go out into the world leaving her loving parents behind and meets a King. It’s not happily ever after though. She is forced to abandon her husband and survive alone until at last she is reunited with him. Even then she is not believed until she shows physical proof of the silver hands but she has survived and triumphed.


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